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is on the path to defeat. >> we decimated the leaders. >> on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. >> we decimated al qaeda central, eliminated osama bin laden. >> al qaeda is much weaker than it was when i came into office. >> osama bin laden is dead, and general motors as a live. >> the war in afghanistan is coming to a close. al qaeda is on the path to the feet. osama bin laden is dead. >> today the core of al qaeda in afghanistan and pakistan is on the path of the feet. the remaining operators spend more time thinking about their own safety and plotting against us. lou: joining us now, radio talk-show host, fox news contributor, former reagan political director, fox is political analyst. thank you both for being here. a defeat for al qaeda, and today we are watching the united states close 19 of our facilities in the middle east and north africa. your reaction? >> my reaction is that the president obviously did what he thought he had to to get reelected instead of talking in terms of an ongoing threat. he made some progress, but it's an ongoing threat that will be the the rest
on the cards. he got rid of virtually the entire top leadership of al-qaeda with the exception of osama bin laden who eventually was caught. >> now we agree. bring bush back. >> i don't see this as partisan. i am not making it partisan. >> you keep talking about the two presidents and this is america. if a come play sen see is our biggest enemy we should work together and say, look, do you trust the government, or do you not? skepticism is healthy in a democracy. every bit of skepticism they got today and for the administration was the same as the bush administration. i think that is probably a good thing. >> doesn't decimate mean you destroy everything but one-10th of one percent? >> i am not sure of the exact definition. >> can you get back to me 1234* we are talking talking about al-qaeda being decimated. >> there should be no doubt. today america is stronger and al-qaeda is on the path to defeat. we decimated al-qaeda's leadership. >> al-qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin laden is dead. >> we december saw -- decimated al-qaeda central and eliminated osama bin laden. >> al-qaeda is m
it a chance to rebuild is now within our reach. thanks to air force personnel who did their part, osama bin laden is no longer a threat to our country. we've put al qaeda on the path to defeat. >> osama bin laden is dead and general motors is alive. >> al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. al qaeda is on the path to defeat and osama bin laden is dead. >> we decimated al qaeda central, we have eliminated osama bin laden. that was our purpose. >> well, colonel, it appears that's not the case. your reaction? >> well, bin laden is dead, but radical islam is alive and well. how is that arab spring working out for you, mr. obama? here's the problem. they're lying to themselves, they've been lying to us. this global warning is nothing more than evidence of the o-team's a businebysmal failure protection of america. and that report on the two leaders in yemen. remember, september is the 16th anniversary of the bombings in kenya and tanzania. anniversaries matter to these people, sean. this crowd didn't take that heed back on september 11. it means more suicide bombers, and t
with the fact that u.s. special operations forces in 2011 found osama bin laden and killed him. that was a huge blow to the organization. but i would point out, in the years leading up to that, there were a lot of analysts who believed that modern was out of touch and was a figurehead and did not play a day-to-day role. in an organization that had evolved more into affiliates. one of the stories are remember writing after that raid was that bin laden played a very important role in managing this organization that had all of these various affiliate and aspiring affiliates. and i think we are in the same situation now where there's no doubt about it that al qaeda has lost a lot of senior leaders in pakistan because of a very lethal thrown more. andver, they have adapted he has shown the ability to manage and delegate. in that respect, at least we shutdown all of these embassies and with sun alerts being significant, i think that shows that, while there have been victories, at least the threat about qaeda is far from over at this point. am eager to you,, tom. hawaii to elaborate a bit on the conce
is that there was some kind of electronic intercept between at least two top al qaeda leaders. the successor of osama bin laden , and the head of the yemen branch of al qaeda. a source telling fox news, the message involved old-fashioned means we have seen al qaeda use before, including tory ears and that the message was circulated to a number of key al qaeda members. so, yes, intelligence officials are joining in the administration's war on words of fighting over whether the al qaeda uses conference calls or chat rooms and will lay of some of the measurable absurdity of it all tonight in the "chalk talk." also ahead, retired four-star army general and former army vice chief of staff, general jack keenan joins us to weigh in and now the white house is handling the security threats. what, a different type of threat that could potentially wipe out all cell phone communications, and injuring gps navigation and radio and television transmissions and all the while having the power to knock out this nation's power grid. we begin with the president making his first public statements on his administration's late
information on what happened after the death of osama bin laden. was instantlythe documents say an american military laboratory in afghanistan analyzed the confirming his identity. the tests were done soon after he was killed by a the washington post reports that these details come from classified information bin laden was killed at his pakistan hideout in may 2011. millions of americans are getting set to hit the road for the last long weekend of summer. if you're traveling for company at the airport and on the highway, but decent prices at the gas pumps. welcome back was that what you're the immediately for the church weather and traffic. >>erica: as we take a look at the san francisco city streets so far so good for 19th avenue and park presidio print they did accommodate a lot of extra traffic starting off at the golden gate bridge. we have to talk about public transit. full details on that and how to get around in our next report. >>james: back to the construction work being done at that news man. --new stand--new span. continues. kron4's will tran has a live update. >>will: you can s
leadership of al qaeda with the exception of osama bin laden who was eventually caught. >> why are we making this -- i don't see this as partisan. the most dangerous -- we keep talking about the two presidents, this is america, and if complacency is our biggest enemy, we should all work together and say look, do you trust the government or not. skepticism, healthy in a democracy, and every bit of skepticism they got today for the administration was the same as the bush administration used to do. i think that's probably a good thing. >> decimate means you destroy everything but 10%? >> i think maybe, not sure about the technical definition. >> can you get back to me while we roll the tape where they talk about al qaeda being decimated. >> there should be no doubt today america is stronger and al qaeda is on the path to defeat. we decimated al qaeda's leadership. al qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin laden is dead. >> we decimated al qaeda central, we eliminated osama bin laden. >> al qaeda is much weaker than it was when i came into office. >> osama bin laden is dead and general motors is
office? osama bin laden was caught on tape saying he wanted to bleed america to the point of bankruptcy. -- -- if 250,000 people take that us and because of some poison in washington dc, it is our own overreaction that a self-destructing. security, a total budget of $40 billion, a lot of things combined into one -- we're not talking about that large amount of money. picture, -- you said, be aware of the bodies. if we hadn't stopped the time square plot, the london , there are three or fourth -- 3000 or 4000 people right there. there are any number of others that have been stopped. i wish the rest of the country would use the nypd as a model. there is so much done as far as cooperation between the government and suppliers and distributors and merchants so if somebody goes to buy explosives, devices,buys certain that is taken to the nypd and they can follow up on it. i would just say 3000 bodies is terrible, but that is 3000wide, when every year die in house fires in america. if there was a successful dirty bomb attack, it could neutralize an entire city. one dirty bomb going off in downt
is on the run and osama bin laden is dead. >> reporter: the white house aide said the cia director and other officials noted al qaeda affiliates were gaining steam. >> did he give the full picture to the people in the campaign about the threat of al qaeda, when that was his talking about again and again? >> it is indisputable the elimination of osama bin laden was a major accomplishment in the effort against al qaeda. we have been clear and the president has been clear that the threat from al qaeda very much remains. >> reporter: republicans know al qaeda in the arabian peninsula is its deadliest affiliate of all. >> al qaeda is in many ways stronger than 9/11, because it mutated and spread and come at us different directions. >> reporter: tense times in the mid east, where the u.s. is having talks in egypt with a jailed senior leader of muslim brotherhood, amid fears the government is losing control of key cities. >> that will allow the sinai to become as you said wild west of terrorism where groups like al qaeda and hamas can coordinate and plot attacks. >> reporter: as the egyptian govern
, the intelligence that sparked all this was a communication from osama bin ladin's replacement, ayman al zawahiri to the head of the al qaeda arm in yemen. the terrorist leaders discussed plotting an attack to coincide with a in muslim holy day this week. this afternoon nbc news is reporting that one reason the u.s. reacted so aggressively is because al qaeda operatives said they wanted an attack that, quote, would change the balance of power in the region. well, as american counter terrorist officials are dealing with this threat, some on the right are using it to hit the president as weak on national security. big surprise there. take a look what bill kristol and former senator jim demint said this weekend on fox. >> four years ago, president obama gave a much heralded speech, his outreach to the muslim world. now four years later we're closing embassies throughout the arab world. a year ago he said al qaeda is on the run. now we seem to be on the run. i'm not criticizing the decision to close the embassies. that's probably the right thing to do for the sake of trying to save american lives and
that they be questioned and placed in custody of u.s. officials without delay. osama bin laden had been criminally charged long before the september 11, 2001 terrorist attacks but was not apprehended. delays in apprehending the suspected benghazi killers will only put american lives at further and needless risk, closed quote. ab? >> i think that's true. it is one thing after the embarrassment of cnn hunting down the top suspect named by the fbi that the fbi couldn't locate. it is not surprising that they would come up with some form of charging, but charging is different from detaining this person or the several others under this sealed criminal indictment. i also think it is not surprising that september 11th is coming up and they were going to come up with something like this pretty soon, so between the cnn report and the year anniversary, something was going to happen, conveniently it is congressional recess. i think you'll see more revelations and developments coming out from the administration and what's interesting about the politics of this is that there is not a mood on capitol hill for moving to
and communication security of osama bin laden is, he would not be online in direct communication. he shows up at various points. there is a suggestion that he was indeed in the conversation. people have asked us, why would you report all these details? our sources have made it clear that when the leader who reported the communications -- it was enough information for al qaeda to walk back the cat. we left out some details from our initial report. believe,oint, we especially since our sources were giving us this information, that it was important to explain the current context of threats. point, i think it is a tough one. cannot argue with the fact that u.s. special operations forces in 2011 found osama bin laden and killed him. that was a huge blow to the organization. that, years leading up to a lot of analysts believe that bin laden was out of touch. they figured he did not play a day-to-day role. the organization has devolved into affiliates. one of the stories i remember writing after the raid -- bin laden played an important role in terms of managing this organization with these various
. these are armed attacks with r.p.g.'s, et cetera. it does make you wonder the kill of osama bin laden, a profound moral victory, didn't end the effectiveness of al qaeda. this is being manned by al zawahari who is at large. maybe we didn't end al qaeda by going -- >>steve: maybe we busted into the centralized al qaeda h.q. now it's fragmented all over. some are wondering whether or not you look at what happened in benghazi, where they killed four brave americans, clearly some sort of al qaeda-linked terror attack, and who's been held accountable. nobody. even though we knew, "the new york times" talked to some of the suspects and others have since then, we haven't done anything. now some are wondering is this a gross overreaction to some intel? susan rice, who is currently running the n.s.a., reportedly sees similarities trying to make sure this is not a repeat of what happened last year. here's lindsay graham and bill crystal. >> they are taking the right approach to this. benghazi was a complete failure. the threats were real there, reporting was real and we dropped the ball. we've learned from
you continuously say that osama bin laden was dead and al qaeda was on the run when in fact now you've closed more embassies than ever before in u.s. history because of terrorism? that's not exactly the question he got last night. >>steve: the extraordinary thing is given all the news these days, the first time we've heard from the president of the united states in a live tv environment asked questions of him was by jay leno. clearly the president, he selected the softball venues because they worked in the past. entertainment tonight, people magazine, got some criticism from the mainstream media but that's only because he wouldn't talk to them. he knew he had to go directly to the low-information voter on shows like this. while president is out banging his campaign for the economy, he went right to jay leno and he painted a picture where things are getting better and my policies, they're working. >> the economy is growing. the unemployment rate has been ticking down. and housing is improving. we've seen the deficit cut in half. health care costs are actually going up slower than the
even osama bin laden. there is always the nightmare of acquiring, terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction, but nothing would give the terrorists enemies greater satisfaction than that we focus obsessively on the remote possibility and restrict our lives and our liberties accordingly. guest: this is always a difficult debate. i think that if we step back d look at it since 9/11, the united states, even though we're one of the most open and free countries has remained, frankly, open and free. we have continued to have super bowls. we continue to have our people travel abroad. we have robust trade with our allies around the world. so this type of limited action, i would use an analogy of it's like a hurricane. we have some weather forecasting that says will is going to be a potential storm. we're battening down the hatches in a few limiting places. if the storm passes, great, but this administration is leaning forward in a way that i think is professionally responsible and they're being advised by not just their political advisors, but also by the c.i.a., one of the old agencies,
to retreat from the world. we don't get terrorized. because of you, osama bin laden is no more. [ cheers ] >> because of you, al qaeda's top ranks have been hammered. >> over overnight in yemen which is on high alert the u.s. conducted its sixth punishing drone strike in ten days. the yemeni government said six suspected al qaeda members were killed. 29 suspected al qaeda terrorists have been taken out by u.s. drones in the past ten days. new throats from al qaeda forced the evacuation of the u.s. embassy in yemen. among those outposts shut down through at least saturday by terror concerns. i wagood morning. >> good morning. >> the president says al qaeda has been hammered. he said they are on their way to defeat. from a messaging standpoint, how tricky is it to send that reassuring message at the same time you are evacuating americans? >> i think they are te directly linked. there is clear intelligence that the administration has received that these embassies are being targeted overseas. there is a clear oh effort by the administration to use the drone strikes against what they see as a
senior al qaeda leaders and no warning since the killing of osama bin laden in may of 2011. something serious they've heard. i also think this is the reaction of the benghazi scandal. the administration does want to look like it's lax on security and not being aggressive enough. i think they're also being very, very broad in terms of shutting down so many embassies to be careful politically. >> if something else were to happen, of course, a lot of people critical of not having done enough. mark, i want to turn to you on this. we heard a lot over the last decade about how much al qaeda has been weakened by the war on terror, but does this contradict that? do these closures suggest they are stronger than we've been led to believe? >> i don't want to say it's contradicted and david has put his finger on it. the fact of the matter is we've always known despite the killing of osama bin laden that there's been a series of franchise organizations directly related to al qaeda. they've been in the caucuses in the north africa and the al qaeda which committed attacks in amgeria, as well as in l
al qaeda, we decimated the top leadership and we killed osama bin laden and the main number two or number three leaders. i don't think anything he said was inaccurate. the reality is al qaeda has been reconstituted in different satellite organizations across the region. so we have al qaeda in libya, for example. al qaeda in the sudan, for example. so it's not just the old al qaeda in afghanistan or iraq. al qaeda is taking different forms and shapes and that's the reality that the state department -- >> repeat my question. he said we decimated al qaeda, okay? he said they were not the threat that they once were, however you wish to paraphrase it. our clips were pretty specific. have they now, thankfully, changed their position about the al qaeda threat? is that what you hear about this announcement? >> no. this is an administration that's been ever vigilant in fighting the threat since they came in office. they were focused about getting osama bin laden from the beginning and they've been executing drone strikes at a rate faster than the bush administration and by the way, that'
succeeded osama bin laden zawahiri. the two men reportedly agreed that they wanted to do something big. timed to the end of the muslim holy month of ramadan which is right now. and that's what led the united states to close 19 embassies. there they are on the map and consulates in the mideast and africa. there's still a lot that remains unknown including which target. over the weekend, one thing clear from every lawmaker and official with knowledge of the attack, nobody's crying wolf here. this is one of the most serious threats in years. >> been an awful lot of hatter out there, chatter means conversations among terrorists about the planning that's going on, very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11. this is the most serious threat that i've seen in the last several years. >> we need to know and realize we're living in an increasingly dangerous world and this many specific threat that we've been briefed on over and over again has reached a new level. >> i must say this is probably one of the most specific incredible threats i've seen perhaps since 9/11 because of the specificity, becau
and others but it's a terrible thing that -- just a year ago, boasting al qaeda is on the run and osama bin laden is dead. now an unprecedented closure of 22 embassies. >> i'm not questioning what he's doing. i think what bill is saying is true is our attempt to placate parts of the world reset to whether it's russia or somewhere else are clearly not working. the perception of weakness in this administration is encouraging this kind of behavior. >> of course, those were extreme hawks. someone needs to tell jim demint al qaeda doesn't care what you're relationship is with russia. for more on how washington reacted, i'm joined by senior correspondent michael crowley with me and "the washington post" opinion writer jonathan capehart. i guess what's interesting here, skrungt you start, it's the quick almost rabble-rousing political hysteria. instead of joining in which was the initial impulse of people like peter cink and lindsey graham was to join forces and say we've got a unique threat coming out of yemen. orders passed from pakistan. and deal with the issue at hand. instead they reverted im
with terrorists, killing osama bin laden. en even this question of al qaeda's number two, ayman al zawahiri, there was a meeting the president attend wrd he wanted more vigilance in this fight. as tom donnelly would tell me, obama said here's the deal. i want this hunt for osama bin laden and ayman al zawahiri to come to the front of the line. i worry that the trail has gone cold. this has to be our top priority. you need to ensure that we have expended every effort to take down the top leadership of al qaeda, especially these two individuals. in light of your criticism about overreaction, there is still a very specific threat and a very specific operator who is atop these organizations. >> and there continue to be a specific threat and there will continue to be terrorism as there has been for as long as human history exists. terrorism is simply the weapon by which the weak engage the strong. and what they do is they cause the strong, in this case us, to overreact. we are the one who is went into iraq and spent about a trillion and a half dollars doing it, losing, what, 2,500 -- 4,500 young
is in afghanistan, alongside osama bin laden and kaurted and went back to prison and escaped from prison. >> what is going on with these prison breaks? >> it's scary. >> this was while ago but we had someone the last couple of weeks as well. >> the last couple of weeks very dramatic prison breaks. over a thousand taliban prisoners were able to escape in the hinterlands. a couple of days ago 4,000 prisoners walked out of leppo prisoner after islamic state of iraq launched an attack on that prison. we have seen prison breaks in iraq and abu ghraib and elsewhere. some of them gotten out we never will see again but unfortunately we will see some again and we will find out they are as dedicated what they were sent there to begin with. >> general, what do we need to do? what is the strategy moving forward? because when it comes to the middle east, obviously, we are getting out of iraq and afghanistan. we are helping some of the rebels some syria. seems like we are relying on drones to go after so many targets now. what is the strategy moving forward? >> i think we have probably done about as well as we
we have made, getting osama bin laden, putting al qaeda between afghanistan and pakistan back on its heels that this radical, you know, violent extremism is still out there. >> jeremy, is this kind of a tricky line for him to walk, talking about this? of course, reminding everyone that the death of osama bin laden was under his watch but you have closings and evacuations that send a different message. >> that's right. i think jay leno asked the right question when he brought up ben ghazi. i think that looms large now over every decision that has to do with our installations overseas. the last thing that this white house wanted to have to deal with, i'm sure, is another attack on that scale. so, i mean, while al qaeda is definitely on the run, this is a reminder that, you know, while the president is trying to move on to other issues, whether it be housing policy, the environment, what have you, terrorism and the fight of it overseas is still a huge part of his portfolio. >> yeah, he answered a lot of questions. jay leno really playing the part of a reporter yesterday, including askin
at an al qaeda camp in afghanistan. that did not stop osama bin laden from ordering the 9/11 attacks. a strike against syria would be designed to convince its dictator, bashar al-assad, not to use chemical weapons again but air strikes never succeeded in changing the behavior of another middle east dictator, iraq's saddam hussein, until he was finally captured and hanged. >> pelley: david martin at the pentagon. david, thank you. at least 100,000 people have been killed in the syrian war, but many, many more are refugees. holly williams is on the syrian border with turkey. >> reporter: for two years, syrians have been fleeing their country. two million people have been driven out by a grueling civil war. the aladekany family crossed into turkey today after government soldiers shelled their town in idlib province in northern syria. >> reporter: the father told us they've sought >> reporter: the father told us they've sought refuge in turkey twice before and have then gone back home, hoping things would improve. are you frightened for your family? family? >> yes, of course, i am afraid
on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11. today al qaeda is on the run and osama bin laden is dead. >> there are reports, too, the leader who replaced osama bin laden has given two speeches saying the muslim world needs to unite, said he disagrees with the u.s. policy going on in egypt as well. also, this is the 27th day of ramadan, also known as the night of power, the time when moham d mohammed -- if you're a believer, when mohammed got the first versus for the koran. >> the massive prison brakes across the region. >> not everybody believes al qaeda is on the run. >> apparently al qaeda doesn't agree. they strung more than 1,000 people from prisons in various countries. >> last week. >> 1200 prisoners in a single break. >> benghazi. >> how do you do that? >> a massive one at abu ghraib prison in iraq, too. here is the general on the al qaeda threat that we face. >>. >> certainly after 9/11 we clearly had al qaeda on the run because we responded to quickly to that threat and intercepted a lot of other threats and killed a bunch of leaders in the process. they have had time to reg
truck bombings. it also marked the first time many americans ever heard the name osama bin laden. of course, september 11th is a critical date not only for the 2001 attacks on america but also the deadly attack on the u.s. mission in benghazi, libya, one year ago. the state department says it's closing 21 u.s. embassies and consulates on sunday out of an abundance of caution. one official telling us the shutdown could be extended beyond sunday. here is our senior international correspondent arwa damon. she's outside the american embassy in cairo. >> reporter: behind this wall is one of the roads that leads to the u.s. embassy in cairo. normally the embassy would have been open on a sunday. it is a working day here. it will, however, be closed because of those security concerns. in the past there have been demonstrations here. there have been mobs, angry mobs, who have gathered trying to attack the embassy. september 11th of last year, for example, an incensed crowd, angered over the film that insulted prophet mohammed, tried to attack the embassy and it was the same day we saw th
to coordinate, and if osama bin laden was calling someone in the united states, we n't his stockbroker.hat because people need to know that the government is not going to gary all this information on them and one day in the future use it against them or have it leaked. this is a legitimate issue, and balancing those is not easy, and i think what we're struggling with as a country, how to protect americans and also protect their individual liberties and private expectations. it's not a trivial issue. >> neil: looks like republican are having a hard time reconciling those two extremes to hear senator paul tell it, if we're getting these constant reports out of the nsa that it went beyond just collecting over 115 million american phone records, to the latest news that is was every e-mail, every site folks went on so much information, so fast, they really couldn't even hold it that long because it was too massive to hold. that does raise the kind of concerns that senator paul has had, that chris christie seems to dismiss. >> but first of all, of course, we always need to be reviewing the s
complicated, because pre-9/11 it was pretty much just afghanistan. it was osama bin laden, and al qaeda senior leadership. that has since spread to somalia, yemen. we have problems in mali now. there are cells in different places. but we also have many, many more assets that we have brought to bear to try to contain them. to try to take out their leadership and try to undermine their plans. so they are still a threat. i would not agree that they're stronger than pre-9/11. >> and one of the theories is that one of the reasons we're seeing these threats right now is in that there's a lot of anger behind recent drone attacks in some of the parts of the world where the embassies are being closed, particularly in yemen. do you think that the use of these drones, so commonly in that part of the world, is actually fueling more anti-american sentiment, that's ultimately making us less safe in those areas? >> well, i mean, it's hard to say. because on the one hand there's no question that the drone strikes have made us more safe. in one very clear way, they've undermined the ability of these folks to p
was all but left for dead? >> today al qaeda is on its heels and osama bin laden is dead. >> from the attack on the u.s. embassy in benghazi, libya, to the armed takeover of a gas facility in algeria that killed three americans. >> after benghazi, these al qaeda types are really on steroids thinking we're weaker and they're stronger. >> plus those jail breaks in the last few weeks, followed by this unprecedented closing of two dozen diplomatic posts and an interpol alert, dire warnings being issued on capitol hill. >> this is your wake-up call. al qaeda is in many ways stronger than before 9/11. >> and nowhere is the bomb making threat of al qaeda more on display than in yemen. >> there are indications in the last week or two that the head of al qaeda's war in pakistan has appointed nasir al wahayshi has his head man. >> so does this indicate al qaeda is in an surge snns -- insurgence? gentlemen, thank you so much for being here. what do you think of this news that zawahri has handed over the number two position. >> it's amazing that he would outsource operations to someone thousa
. >> al qaeda has been decimated. >> osama bin laden is dead. >> well, throughout the president's campaign for re-election last year we heard him talk about the decimation of al qaeda. but here's what the president said in his press conference on friday. >> core al qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated. but what i also said was that al qaeda and other extremists have metastasized into regional groups that can pose significant dangers. >> last week the state department closed 19 american outposts in the mideast and africa, and they evacuated the u.s. embassy in yemen. this week they warned americans not to travel to pakistan and they evacuated non-emergency personnel from the u.s. consulate in pakistan. all because of terrorist threats. gary burnson say decorated former cia officer who served as station chief on three separate occasions and led several of the agency's most important counterterrorism deployments. he spent his career hunting down al qaeda. he's also the author of a book, awbreaker: the attack on bin laden and al qaeda." gary joins me now. i appreciate you being with me. w
his 2012 reelection campaign. he said the war in afghanistan is ending. al-qaeda is on the run. osama bin laden is dead. mr. obama has also claimed that al-qaeda's core leadership is decimated, and who can forget during the first presidential run in 2008 when he vowed to root out al-qaeda, close guantanamo and improve america's moral stature around the world. then the drones came and the world sees us as merciless. merciless is what we should have been a long time ago in this conflict. new strategies and double talking generals reduced warfare to an academic exercise, shape shifting and parsing above the gravity of the enemy's threat, playing the stump master with slogans, anything to avoid saying outright what the average american knows. terrorists are alive and waiting for the big jihad payoff. why shouldn't they be when in 2009 the president announced that he was adding a token 30,000 u.s. troops to our afghan force at the same time he revealed his plan for a phased withdrawal. this was a courtesy to an al-qaeda and taliban actors who now had an expiration date for america's war. o
books on al qaeda. he produced the first tv interview of osama bin laden back in 1997. gregory johnsen is the author of the last refuge, yemen, al qaeda and america's war in arabia. welcome. peter, what triggered all of this as far as we understand it is the head of al qaeda sent a message to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, in yemen, asking them, you know, do some terrorism, please. >> yeah, do something. >> now, is that a sign of weakness or strength? >> it's a sign of just sending a message. i mean it's do something is pretty -- it's not like, you know, the end of the world is coming. and so far whatever that something is hasn't transpired. and i think that al qaeda central is aware of its own problems and even al qaeda in the arabian peninsula is not doing particularly well, despite all of the flurry of things we've seen over the past week. about 30 of their leaders and south operatives have been killed in cia drone strikes, so their bench is thinning. >> why has yemen become the next place, after afghanistan, pakistan? >> right. well, i think in yemen you have a very weak centra
made that announcement on al qaedas' web site. he was reported by an aid to osama bin laden and became the ahead of an affiliate after he tunnelinged out of a prison in yemen. the terror leader did not say how he would free those imprisoned members but al qaeda has claimed responsibility for simultaneous raids on two iraq prisons, reportedly setting free more than 500 inmates. his us replacement were also part hoff the intelligence that caused the u.s. to close 19 embassies last week, but the one in yemen re-opened yet. -young -- robert young understands the situation. >> civil war started in the mid-'90s in the northern and southern part broke away and battled way. we're getting involved in a tribal conflict, much like you see in pakistan, under the guise of fighting terrorism. so of the 600 people we killed, just with drones. only 50 of those would we classified as terrorist. so there's a lot of killing going on in the air and on the ground. >> shepard: explain more how this works and what the end game is. >> well, right now, we're faced with a core group of people from saudi arabia
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